Independent News and Media

Royal prank DJ Mel Greig writes open letter to the media

AN Australian former radio presenter who made a prank call to the King Edward VII Hospital during the Duchess of Cambridge's first pregnancy and spoke to a nurse who was found to have completed suicide three days later, has written an open letter to the media requesting caution as the frenzy builds over royal baby number two.

DJ Mel Greig, who made the call with presenting partner Michael Christian in 2012 for their 2Day FM show, said media outlets from both Australia and England have contacted her with requests for interviews or for comment over the upcoming birth, despite the knowing the actions that had brought her international recognition had "ended in tragedy".

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Nurse Jacintha Saldanha answered the prank call in 2012 from the presenters pretending to be members of the royal family asking after the wellbeing of the Duchess, and passed the call onto another nurse who then gave out confidential information.

Saldanha was found hanged in her nurse's accommodation three days later. It is understood that the hoax call was mentioned in one of the suicide notes she left, as was criticism of staff at the hospital and requests for her funeral.

"Have we not learnt enough from the royal prank call?" Greig wrote in the Australian Daily Telegraph.

"I understand that you are constantly challenged to create different angles for big stories," she wrote, stating that if she were still working in radio, she would undoubtedly be sat in a meeting room brainstorming these different possible angles with which to cover the royal birth.

"To the people in those meetings, please learn from the tragedy… be sensible," she wrote, imploring the media to respect the royal couple's privacy and to stay away from the hospital.

For those planning on pulling a similar prank to her own Greig said: "Don't".

"Get a grip, don't create a story… the story is already there… A precious baby is on its way and all you need to say is 'Congratulations'," she wrote.